tv Newsmakers CSPAN November 28, 2010 10:00am-10:30am EST
i am done. i was just making a statement. host: thank you for calling in. guest: what you are doing and what you did is a wonderful thing, so thank you very much. but i did not actually say that the war has no purpose. i said most americans seem to feel that it has no purpose. host: the book is "bridging the military-civilian divide." the author is bruce fleming. thanks for being on the "washington journal." tomorrow we'll talk about debt reduction, and clifford winston will be here to talk about his book.
>> senator coleman, thank you very much for being here. >> we just heard that you have said that if michael steel decides to run, you will not be a candidate. >> republicans don't have to beat up on republicans. secondly, he campaigned and supported me. i have been very, very candid with the chairman. there's been challenges with major donors. on the other hand, i don't think so these gotten enough credit to bring the tea party into the republican coalition.
i don't think it's productive from my perspective. >> let me introduce you to steve from the white house correspondent. gentlemen, thanks. steve, you want to start? >> steve, good to see you. >> by the way, i work with both these guys. i'm glad to see you're still working. i'm glad to see you're still out there. >> we appreciate that. >> senator, the republican national committee ends this cycle in debt. the only one in the major party committees that spent more than it raised, and it didn't raise much. groups like yours and the groups like karl rove, my question is, why even have the republican
national committee anymore? >> two observations, clearly, there's a place and will be a place for the third parties like mine, the american action network. american cross roads. on the democratic side, for years, the dem overwhelmed. they are a major factors on this cycle and will be in the future. by the way, our groups can coordinate with the rnc or the house committee. the rnc is there to support the local victory efforts. mobilize grass roots. there's always a major role to play. i expect in 2012, even a more significant role is required of rnc. there's no question the rnc needs to be a major player. clearly, third party groups
played an active role. >> senator, nice to see you. wanted to ask you a follow up question, if your friend, michael steel, decides not to run, will you go for the chairman's position? >> well, again, chairman has to decide what he has to do. i would say humility, if the opportunity were there to help my party, i would help me party. part of it is to interact with the rg a and the house committee. i could do all those things. that's a hypothetical. the chairman has to decide what he's going to do. i have always been willing to
serve my party. >> senator, last summer word leaked out you planned to go to the rnc meeting in kansas city, with the purpose of signalling the challenge to michael steel. there was backlash and you didn't go. weren't you thinking of running then and challenging him? >> i wasn't planning on going to that meeting for the purposes of the challenging. a lot of words leak out that may not have basis. my intent has never been to challenge chairman steel. one of my concerns that came up. on the left, folks were looking for fighting among republicans, when the real story, the economy of 9.5% unemployment. people were upset about government take over healthcare. i think all that discussion was a way to get off what were the
issues at hand, which by the way, were the issues of the election. i'm not out there look to go engage in battles with our chairman. here's a friend. i don't think he's gotten credit for what he has done. there's no question about that. that will sort itself out. but my focus was not to feed into those stories. the real story was the question, the failure of the administration and to focus on the economy and rather get involved in big spending. big taxes and healthcare, which the american public soundly rejected on november 2nd. >> senator, you mentioned a moment ago. if you were a candidate. you would bring an understanding of the third party groups. can you tell us about how you
see the third party groups functioning and if you would, respond to some of the critics, the president of the united states himself who suggested like groups like yours that can raise unlimited funds are somehow a threat to our democratic processes. >> that wasn't a tone when the left part overwhelmed in terms of outside money being raised. gentlemen, i suspect it's not the tone right now. as you would admit. there's been a change in the tone. now there's talk on the left of taking a more active role in doing what conservatives were able to accomplish this last cycle. let me step back, in part, what we were able to accomplish was to level the playing field. that the democratic still spent much more money in the 2010
cycle. there was a level of playing field. my good american action network is a person with the american action forum, a pure policy association. our purpose, we were formed before citizens united is a broader social purpose. we get involved in advocacy as allowed by irs regulation. we have a major hispanic formed co-chaired by jeb bush and the former president of columbia to address the conference on issues of trade. hopefully, we will get marco rubio, the new republican senator from florida. we have two now hispanic
governors. clearly in the 2006 and 2008 cycles. clearly there will be a role for third party groups to provide advocacy and individuals who support that. senator, how do you respond to those that say the notion of anonymous donors, you did not disclose the names of donors how do you respond? >> by law, we can't spend dollar for dollar. if you want to spend dollar for
dollar. you support 527 which everything is disclosed. our group will have substantially this is than 50% advocacy. so, there are rules and regulations that apply to these type -- listen. bottom line, if every group on the left and right were to play on a level playing field. i would disclose. following the rules that are in affect for league of conservation voters. now the left is talking about doing it again. i would fully support a more open disclosure. the trial lawyers, union all on a level playing field. if we can figure that out, i'm not opposed. following the letter of the law,
using resources as allowed by the law and levelling with the left -- there was no cry when the left dominated with this. we levelled that in 2010. bottom line, this election in 2010 was not about big money. but big spending, big big. big healthcare and big government. that's what caused the results of republicans picking up i think 63 house seats. >> i want to follow up on your hispanic conference. with the increase in the hispanic population. they vote more heavily democratic. what is your strategy with regard to bringing more, excuse me, hispanics into the polls?
>> first, the new hispanic leadership on the republican side, they indicated before, two republican governors. sandoval and martinez. marco rubio. we are proud of leadership. we believe the principles we stand for on issues of small business, entrepreneurship. trade, trade has become a partisan issue. it's a same we cannot gone through with the columbia and panama free trade. it leads verbal support. the base of the republican party is anti-trade. we think we have a message for hispanics. that the principles that they hold dear are the conservative principles that lead them to support conservative
expandidates. one of the problems we're going to have at this gathering will be immediate message forum. what is it? what's wrong with our message? why aren't we getting out? we have the leadership, we believe we have the principles. the this gathering will be an opportunity to listen and reach out to that hispanic community, which is important. if you want to be a majority party, we believe we are a majority party. we have to work hard and reach out to the hispanic community. senator, on the question of hispanic vote. surged in a couple states. nevada, california, two of those states, republicans thought they had a strong shot at taking the seats. what happened to the hispanic votes in those states?
>> a couple things happened. if you listen to rubio and martinez. they have a strong message about a nation to secure its rders. there's a tone that wasn't the same. the elections whether colorado, nevada wasn't about the hispanic vote. i will be candid in saying we need to do a better job. we had hispanic candidates who carried a different message. part of it is tone. then going beyond that. so are there challenges? yes. i don't believe colorado or nevada was decided on the hispanic vote. we have to recognize the challenges and understand there
are huge opportunities. we're trying to seize and that's the purchase of this hispanic forum to seize the opportunity where there is similarity of both philosophy, similarity of policy, and hopefully, we'll get a little better on the message side. >> if you could jump, you talk about tone. the difference between florida republican candidate and nevada candidate, in nevada they ran an ad of a hispanic running against a fence in the dark of night. would you have done that? >> i'm not going to get criticized by fellow republicans. i wasn't running in that race. i run my own races and people look at stuff i have done. i'm not going to respond whether that was a good or bad ad.
bottom line, we need to do a better job to reach out to the hispanic community. they are an important part of america. we are not going to be hesitant to reach out because we think they should be voting for conservatives. >> picking up on that. how do you moderate the tone on that? immigration and to appease the tea party? >> the focus of the tea party, by the way, it was part of a tremendous coalition that voted for conservatives. it was a critical reason for us picking up at least 63 house seats and 500 seats. the focus of tea party is about big spending, big debt and big
government. is there a concern that we are losing american manufacturing jobs? absolutely. i don't think there's a tea party anti-trade agenda. i think there's a legitimate concern that all americans have about or most americans have about making sure that we have secure borders. and i think if we had secure borders we would be in a better position to deal with those in this country illegally. most tea party members want to know whose in the country. i don't think there's an anti-hispanic agenda or anti-trade agenda. america is concerned about debt, spending and big government of that was the message of this election. that's something our team is certainly in a much better
position to respond to than the left. supporting big government, big taxes and big spending. >> senator coleman, steve and i got to cover one of earlier races of the u.s. senate. you endured, if i remember correctly. you thought the -- >> actually -- >> go ahead. >> i would check history on that. i have always been a believer in full disclosure. we didn't have a level playing field. mccain finegold resulting in money finding other 527's became a big issue. i would question the presumption that somehow i was a strong
supporter. >> yes. i don't want to turn this into a memory test certainly. you were an advocate for some reforms on big money politics, and i remember specifically, you're calling for a minnesotan s restrictions. i would like to ask going forward. what you would advocate. disclosure. >> i think ultimately, ultimately, if you can have a level playing field, it's best to know -- i think people should be able to give the first amendment, the u.s. supreme court affirms we have first amendment rights to contribute campaigns. half the u.s. senate millionaires.
you have big money on the individual level and outside money. ultimately, i believe people should be able to give. give what they want so politics isn't the play ground for millionaires and trust fund babies. i would support full disclosure. the problem, gentlemen, it hasn't been a level playing field. the unions are able to pour all sorts of money into the political process. the biggest contributor of funds wasn't the outside groups, it was ask me. they talked about putting in 90 millions. wasn't you american action network. among the biggest players. if we could reach a point where we have a level playing field. that's best. clearly we aren't there today >> senator, there's a bill that
democratic leadership that are hope to go bring up in the lame duck, is that something you want to support? >> there wasn't a single republican that supported this full of disclosure. scott brown didn't support it. susan collins didn't support it. you have the built-in advantage. if we could really find a way to work in a bipartisan manner on this issue of disclosure. that would be fine. there was a reason they voted against it. it's simply not the way politics should be done. that really doesn't solve the problem. >> senator, minnesota question, you made a reference to the sweeping gains republicans made in legislative races.
also in minnesota, big gains for republicans, why didn't you win the governor's office? >> 2, first, they were huge gains. republicans took over the senate first time since we had party designation going back to 1972. huge gains in the senate and house. in the governor's race. look at what you had there. outside money coming in early in the process. when tom was still getting his campaign going. pounded the heck out of them. there was no level playing field of money in minnesota. there's an example where the left took advantage of the rules. there was nothing positive. simply beat the heck out of republican candidate and that race was close. it's in the midst of a race
right now. the candidate was out of the playing field that caused this race to be in the end, very, very close. but not getting the benefit that huge republican sweep you saw certainly in the house and in the senate >> another follow up. in that case. you have mark daden, who was a senator and looking to be elected governor, you started out running for governor and ended up being a senator. what's the future for you in minnesota? particularly if you don't run for the rnc, are you going to run for office again? >> i don't rule it out. but i'm not looking for another office. i believe in service. that's what i have done. on the other hand, i believe in capitalism and free enterprise. i think it's okay to make money in america. i would like to make money. i have dedicated my life to
public service. building an organization that is supporting folks that support conservatives, and the right philosophy. i may choose to do other things in the private side. i don't rule out public service. i think it's a noble profession and really lament the beating that the public servants have taken. some of it self imposed. the duke cunninghams and others. service is noble. if the opportunity were to present itself, i wouldn't rule it out. >> i wonder what you of course of joe miller's decision to see the murkowski's campaign. >> i understand joe's frustration. i'm listening to what joe is saying. they didn't use the same
standards to count ballots. i had some of those concerns in minnesota on a much, much closer race in which all the ballots counted, when they were all counted and i won. when they were recounted, i won. it did ultimately change the outcome. i will be straightforward. i think that race is over. there's nothing that would change the counting. i made a decision in my race. let's not go any further. could i have brought it to the supreme court? yes. i made that decision. that was my decision. i would offer joe miller advice, i think it's, you know, should be time to move on, that there's not much to gain by extending
the process. it's been extended. they have done now this count of the absentee ballots. probably time to move on. rather than him initiating another legal proceeding. >> we have 30 seconds for closing questions. >> senator, do you expect if you didn't take the job option we talked about at the rnc, would you stay with american action network and groups like that. american cross roads here to say in republican politics and national politics? >> i really think they are here to stay. my group, american action network, pure policy. social purpose. i think they're part the landscape >> what that means, who knows? unless and until we change mcca mcca
mccain >> senator, thank you for being on "newsmakers" >> gentlemen, we have a few minutes to put what senator coleman said in political perspective. you asked a lot of questions about the groups like american action network. ure heard they're here to say. what do you think of the future what it means for politics? >> senator coleman's answers were quite interesting. he has talked aut reform ideas. expressed concern about politics. we have seen in this past midterm election. record amounts at mid-term elections with third parties contributing and participating more. senator coleman says they are here to say and acknowledging
there's a role for the organizations he founded. the one that karl rove founded that collects campaign considerations. the second is he's an advocate for disclosure. in 2011, we may see disclosure being a place it to see conservatives, republicans and democrats agreeing on legislation that would at least disclose some of these donors. >> question for you steve, the senator talked about symmetry. is there quite as much symmetry as he suggests? >> i don't think so. this is a politician trying to navigate things like the hispanic vote, you